All week the Swindon Advertiser will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Swindon Town's promotion to the Premier League following their 4-3 play-off final victory over Leicester City at Wembley on May 31, 1993.

A QUARTER of a century on from his iconic Wembley moment, Steve White’s opinion of his decisive role in proceedings remains just the same as it was that day.

“I have told this story so many times and after going around the keeper, if I could have stayed up, I would have,” said White.

“I wasn’t the sort of player that dived, I wasn’t very good at conning the referee.”

The incident itself – just six minutes after White’s introduction as a substitute – is one that is sure to be permanently ingrained in the minds those Swindon Town supporters who were there to witness it first-hand.

A heart-stopping few seconds where they could pull back their Premier League dream from the brink of despair.

After seeing their 3-0 lead cancelled out by Leicester City’s brave comeback, striker White was introduced off the bench with 12 minutes to go as Town sought a winning goal.

That plan did not take long to come to fruition as player-manager Glenn Hoddle spotted space in the weary Foxes defence, playing a perfect ball over the top.

White gamely gave chase and poked past advancing Leicester goalkeeper Kevin Poole as he entered the box, only for the two to collide and the Swindon striker sent tumbling to the turf.

Even on repeated viewings to this day, the contact between the pair does not look much, but it was enough for referee David Elleray to point to the spot, and once Paul Bodin stepped up 12 yards from goal, the rest is history.

“It ended up meaning that we won the day, so I am pleased to have played a part in it,” said White, who turns 60 next January.

“It must have been a nerve-wracking moment for a penalty taker, but Paul was a clean striker of the ball and had taken penalties all that season.

“We all know he missed that one for Wales not long afterwards, but he also scored one for us against Manchester United at Old Trafford the following season too.

“You take your chances from the penalty spot. He hit it half-decently, and we were all delighted to see the net bulging.”

White’s crucial Wembley intervention game amid the back-end of his Town career.

At the age of 34, he had spent seven seasons at the County Ground, passing the 300-appearance mark in the process.

After previous spells at Bristol Rovers, Luton Town and Charlton Athletic, White swiftly became a folk hero after his switch to Swindon in 1986.

A member of the Town team controversially denied their place in the top flight in 1990, White says those matches at Wembley are days he had yearned for throughout his career.

“The Leicester game was the second time I had been to Wembley, but before that I had gotten to 30 and had not managed to get to there,” he said.

“It is any player’s dream to play there and we managed to do it in 1990 when I was 31, when we got promoted to the old First Division and had it taken away from us, and then we managed to get there again in 1993 when I was 34.

“The biggest memory for me was the stadium and going down the tunnel to that crescendo of noise, and the sea of red afterwards when we won.”

Town’s Wembley heroes met up again recently at a special anniversary event held at the club – and that momentous day 25 years ago is one that any of them are unlikely to ever forget.

“We had a fantastic get-together and I saw some faces I hadn’t seen for 20-odd years,” said White.

“They were very successful years that we enjoyed at the club. It was a very good team and you always remember the victories.

“John Moncur retold a story where when we were 3-0 up, he said to David Oldfield ‘Light one up for me, Dave’ as if he had his cigar out because we were so far ahead.

“Apparently, they had a bit of an altercation in the previous match at Leicester in the league that season, so there was a little bit of animosity.

“Then within 12 minutes, it was back to 3-3, although he did say that he went over and apologised after the game.

“It was great to reminisce about the glory days, as footballers do. It was a great day.”

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